Aug 15, 2008

India's POU/POE Industry Looks to Create Standards & Training

WQA participates in first meeting of nation’s drinking water industry

Dozens of point-of-use (POU)/point-of-entry (POE) companies gathering in Mumbai, India, recently agreed to a framework to create industry standards and promote training and education.

The Task Force in India, organized under the banner of the Water Quality Association (WQA), represents the first meeting in the nation’s history of members of the home water treatment industry. Held on July 23, the session brought together more than fifty people from nearly three-dozen companies.

Members of the task force are examining WQA operational methods to determine what elements can be used and modified for India.

The session also focused largely on the needs of the consumers and the industry in India. One of the major points of the discussion centered on product performance standards required in the country. They reviewed previous efforts and the availability and suitability of standards in North America and Europe. Participants discussed the need, timing and the extent of participation in this effort by Bureau of Indian Standards. A sub-task force, headed by Nimish Shah of Unilever, will make a comprehensive study of this. The task force requested WQA on its behalf to contact the Bureau of Indian Standards about initiating the development of consensus POU and POE national standards in India. WQA will be drafting and sending a letter to the Bureau.

The group also discussed other important matters, such as education of those involved in the industry and communication needs in India. Two separate sub-task forces were established to further investigate these subject matters and report to the full task force. The education sub-task force is chaired by Subramaiam of Everything About Water and the communication sub-task force by R. S. Rajan of Ion Exchange India.

The full task force is chaired by Govind Bommi of Filtrex International, with two vice chairs supporting him, Vikram Surendran of Unilever and Marzin Shroff of Eureka Forbes. Regu P. Regunathan, technical consultant to WQA, acted as the staff support, and Tom Palkon, director of certification at WQA, played a leading role in this task force.

Those wishing to join the task force do not have to be members of WQA for their first meeting. However, anyone seeking to continue to participate is asked to become a member of the association. The task force will meet next in New Delhi late January 2009, with potentially two meetings a year.